Donations & Purchases

The State Library will generally collect published and unpublished (original) materials that are:

  • Created in Western Australia
  • About Western Australia, or
  • Created by a Western Australian, or someone with a significant connection to Western Australia

We welcome donations of Western Australian material in six broad categories: archival (which includes paper documents and born-digital documents), photographs, oral histories, film, audio recordings, and books/publications. These collections can contribute to broader understanding of Western Australia’s social history.

COVID-19 Community Collecting for the State Library

The State Library of WA needs your help to collect Covid-19 related material – photographs, diaries, unwanted flyers, posters, signs, mail-outs – any material which reflects the community response and changes to services during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have something that you would like to donate to our collection please let us know by completing the online form.

Ephemera

The State Library collects ephemeral items, which are the transient documents of everyday life such as pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, tickets and posters. These materials can often be discarded, but provide valuable insights into our way of life, and help to tell our stories in this moment in time for future generations. Browse our Ephemera Collection Highlights to learn more about these unique collections.

During election campaigns, we specifically seek materials such as:

  • How-to-vote cards
  • Posters
  • Flyers
  • Stickers and badges

Materials may be emailed to serials@slwa.wa.gov.au or posted to:

Ephemera materials
State Library of Western Australia
25 Francis Street
PERTH WA 6000

For enquiries please email collection.development@slwa.wa.gov.au or call 08 9427 3111.

Oral Histories, Film, and Audio Recordings

To donate oral histories, film, or audio recordings, please email collection.liaison@slwa.wa.gov.au or call 9427 3111 and ask to talk with a collection liaison staff member, mentioning the type of material you would like to donate.

Archival Materials and Photographs

The State Library may accept donations of archival materials and photographs that relate to individuals and families, and organisations, clubs, associations, and businesses.

Types of archival materials collected that relate to individuals and families:
  • Correspondence (letters, telegrams, emails etc.)
  • Diaries/Journals
  • Photographs
  • Manuscripts
  • Notebooks (e.g. field books, jottings)
  • Postcards
  • Drawings (sketches, cartoons etc.)
  • Invitations
  • Legal papers
  • Awards (including degrees, certificates etc.)
  • Biographical notes
  • Plans and maps
  • Career documentation (including curriculum vitae, résumés etc.)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Contracts
  • Reports
  • Speeches (talks etc.)
  • Wills

To donate individual and family materials like these, please download and complete the appropriate form:

Archival materials – Individual and Family collections

Photographs – Individual and Family collections

Please email the completed forms to the Collection Liaison Team.

Types of archival materials collected that relate to organisations, clubs, associations, and businesses:
  • Correspondence (letters, emails etc.)
  • Meeting minutes
  • Photographs
  • Annual reports
  • Governance papers (e.g. constitutions, policies and procedures)
  • Financial records (including accounts, budgets, cash books etc.)
  • Plans (e.g. architectural drawings, designs)
  • Promotional materials (e.g. pamphlets, posters etc.)
  • Visitors’ book

To donate organisation, club, association or business materials like these, please download and complete the appropriate form:

Archival materials – organisation, association, club, or business collections

Photographs – organisation, association, club, or business collections

Please email the completed forms to the Collection Liaison Team.

Staff will review your list and contact you to discuss the materials you are offering. If the material is unsuitable for the State Library, they may suggest other organisations that would appreciate the material.

If you have any queries, please email the Collection Liaison Team or call 9427 3111 and ask to talk with a collection liaison staff member, mentioning the type of material you would like to donate.

Books

To donate a Western Australian book or publication, please email collection.development@slwa.wa.gov.au or call 9427 3111 and ask to talk with a collection liaison staff member, mentioning you would like to donate a book. See also: Legal Deposit.

Cultural Gifts Program

The Cultural Gifts Program encourages donations of culturally significant items from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives by offering donors the following tax incentives:

  • Deduction for the market value of gifts
  • Exemption from capital gains tax
  • Option to apportion the deduction over a period of five income years

Donations must be accompanied by at least two valuations of the current market value of the gift, provided by approved valuers. The cost of obtaining valuations specifically for this program can also be claimed as a tax related expense.

The Cultural Gifts Program is administered through the Department of Communications and the Arts .

If you are considering making a donation to the State Library under the Cultural Gifts Program please contact the Collection Liaison Team.

Suggest a Purchase

The State Library may also make purchases of items to enhance its collections. Items for purchase may be suggested or recommended.  Items are acquired through contracted suppliers which are selected through a formal Government WA tendering process. This applies to materials which are not received by Legal Deposit or Donations.

The Library welcomes suggestions for new additions to the State Library collections. All suggestions are considered in light of the Collection Development Policy.

State Library members can make a suggestion by completing the Suggest a Purchase form. To help us follow up on your suggestion, please give us as much detail as you can - including title, author, publisher, date of publication, ISBN or ISSN number and/or relevant web address where possible. Please direct any suggestions for additions to the Public Library collections, to your local public library.

Last updated on: 28 May 2020